In 1945, led by Dr. Albert Edward Day, some laity and clergymen have met and resolved to live a life of discipline in accordance to the teachings and life of Jesus Christ (www. dochr. org). Thus, on that meeting, an organization was founded and named The Disciplined Order of Christ whose members aim to live a life of discipline in the midst of the harsh realities of the world. Basically, the Order aims to incorporate self-discipline into the life of a Christian laity or clergy man.
Although living up to the teachings of Christ is not a novel idea, the Order focuses on Christian Discipline. The once a hundred-member organization became a nationwide movement and still aiming to reach more other people as well (www. dochr. org). All members of the order strive to acquire the eight virtues of the organization; namely, obedience, simplicity, humility, frugality, generosity, truthfulness, purity and charity (www. dochr. org). In addition to these virtues, there are the seven fundamental disciplines that members live by.
These are discipline of private prayer, discipline of personal commitment, discipline of small group fellowship, discipline of active church participation, discipline of witness and service, discipline of stewardship, and discipline of ecumenical fellowship (www. dochr. org). The Order’s ideals and vision are founded on the book written by the founder, Dr. Day, entitled “Discipline and Discovery” (www. dochr. org). Most of the preaching in the organization and the tips on how to live a disciplined life are based on this book.
Although the ideals are based on the book, the organization still uses the bible, particularly the New Testament, as their primary reference for spiritual maturity. Nevertheless, there is less citations from the bible than from the founder’s book which makes it somewhat a practical guide rather than a biblical guide to a rich Christian life. The organization holds annual regional retreats as well as national retreats every five years (www. dochr. org).
This is the only activity that is explicitly presented in the website besides different articles regarding bible study guides and the organization’s basic doctrines. Although the Order also conducts small group fellowships, there were no presentations or exhibits regarding the retreats and fellowships. Such a defect is thus quite questionable. The organization wishes to impart disciplines of small group fellowship and active church participation and yet, there are no evidences of such events on the website. It would have been better if the organization presented places and schedules of fellowships.
Furthermore, the Order only seems to offer suggestions and guidelines on how to live a self-disciplined life in the local church where the member is affiliated. One interesting feature, however, is that of the organization’s “Prayer Garden”. In the Prayer Garden, individuals can post their prayer requests and praise notes while they can also view other’s prayer requests and join in praying for the many needs of the members of the organization (www. dochr. org). Such a connection of the different members through praying for one another is theologically noteworthy and yet original in its modern approach.
The basic virtues that the order tries to emulate are actually all theologically based on the New Testament. And the disciplines are essentially practical means to attain such virtues. The practical approach of the organization’s ideals although not much proven by their own testimonial experiences is a helpful way for one’s spiritual growth. Its day-by-day advices and simplicity gives it an appealing way of living the life of Christ in the modern yet draining society people are currently dwelling in.
Theologically, the ideals of the Order are theoretically and biblically acceptable. The practical guide it provides that fits the modern way of living in the world is very much helpful and charismatic. Upon reading on the basics of the organization, one can also find that the spiritual formation that the order offers to every individual is suitable for everyone. The very fact that self-discipline and discipline in general is the center of their ministry makes the order a viable and useful new way of living a life like that of the life Christ lived.
The Disciplined Order of Christ. (2008). Discipline and Discovery. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.dochr.org/discipline.php.
The Disciplined Order of Christ. (2008). Historical Moments. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.dochr.org/history.php.
The Disciplined Order of Christ. (2008). Albert Edward Day. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.dochr.org/day.php.
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